Best Practices

Staying Focused: Guidelines to Improve your Company’s Quality

By Richard Voreis

Over the next few articles I will be sharing guidelines for employee action plans (objectives) that support the company top priorities (goals). This process empowers employees and, at the same time, holds them accountable for the success of the company as well as their personal success in their job.

ACTION PLAN GUIDELINE #1

Always focus on meeting the wants and needs of the customers.
This includes both external customers and internal customers (fellow employees). Hopefully, everyone at your company recognizes the need to serve external customers such as general contractors. If not, you’ve got some basic educating to do.

What may not seem so obvious is serving internal customers. Internal customers are your fellow-employees and the various departments within the company. Serving them is just as important as serving the external customers. In fact, by serving internal customers it’s easier to serve external customers. That message needs to be conveyed to all employees.

ACTION PLAN GUIDELINE #2

Always focus on meeting the wants and needs of customers with surveys.
You can do this by listening to the voice of the client, such as through conducting client satisfaction surveys. If I asked your employees if the company had happy customers, most people would have a definite opinion. They’d say either “yes” or “no.”

However, if your company does not conduct any customer satisfaction surveys, the answers are based upon personal feelings that may or may not represent how the customers really feel.

Conducting formal customer surveys is essential and should be done on a consistent basis.

A knowledgeable company representative can even do these over the phone. Phone surveys and as many in-person surveys as possible are the best ways to ensure you receive input. Mailed surveys typically result in less than a 10% return rate, compared to phone or in-person surveys that are essentially 100%.

Our company’s clients receive a one-page customer satisfaction survey form to conduct these surveys. They like the form because it’s easy to use, fast and effective.

ACTION PLAN GUIDELINE #3

Focus on quality.
This means in the following areas:
• People;
• Products and services;
• Project management;
• Training;
• Top priorities of the company; and
• Employee action plans.

In any of these criteria, when you improve quality you will also improve results and, ultimately, the overall performance of your company.

Are you satisfied with the quality of your people, services, project management, employee training, annual company top priorities and the employee action plans that support the company top priorities? If not, contact me and I’ll help you start improving these areas.

Richard Voreis is the founder and CEO of Consulting Collaborative in Dallas. His column appears bi-monthly. Email him at rdvoreis@consulting-collaborative.com and read his blog on Wednesdays at dollarsandsense.usglassmag.com.

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